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CGI president Michael RoachPaul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

CGI Group Inc. has cited the impact of a favourable tax adjustment a year ago among the reasons for a $13-million decline in fiscal 2012 second-quarter earnings.

The Quebec-based information technology and business process services firm said Wednesday that net profit in the quarter was $105.7-million or 40 cents per diluted share.

That compared with net earnings of $118.7-million or 43 cents per share in the same year-earlier period.

Revenue was $1.07-billion, down from $1.11-billion.

Both EPS and revenue figures met the estimates of surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

"We delivered solid results in the second quarter and throughout the first half of fiscal 2012, demonstrating sequential revenue growth and industry leading profitability," president and CEO Michael Roach said in remarks accompanying CGI's earnings report.

"We continue to identify and shape additional profitable growth opportunities across all our vertical markets. Our strong cash generation continues to enable us to further reduce debt and repurchase our shares."

Analysts had predicted bookings would be light in the seasonally slow quarter given the small number of deals announced during the period, among the lowest number in two years.

"We believe that CGI should remain a core holding, however, we are cautious going into the quarter as the outlook may be more muted than in previous quarters," Tom Liston of Versant Partners wrote in a report on Monday.

Paul Steep of Scotia Capital said the results would likely "reflect a stabilizing outlook for the firm's North American operations given the improving global economic sentiment."

"Our expectation is that the firm is likely to become more active in seeking to execute on a number of smaller M&A transactions focused on software-based businesses that can be easily integrated into its operating model," he wrote.

Founded in 1976, CGI Group is one of the largest independent IT and business process services firms in the world with about $4.1-billion in annual revenues.

It has some 31,000 employees in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific.